Meet Board Member Jeff Weckbach
Name: Jeff Weckbach
Organization: Colerain Township
Date Appointed to Board:
How long have you been in local government?
What motivates your service to OCMA?
OCMA provides all of our communities with an opportunity to learn and grow by enhancing the professional capabilities of all its members. I am excited to be able to help us all grow so that our communities can flourish and be as vibrant as possible.
What do you hope to accomplish in your capacity with OCMA?
My goal with OCMA is to help us expand our programmatic offerings and to grow the next generation of leaders. Throughout the Great Recession, a number of positions were eliminated that were often considered the “traditional” pathway to City/County management. We have to rethink our pipelines to the profession and work to provide that next group with the necessary tools to be successful.
What inspired you to enter local government?
I was fortunate enough to interview Milton Dohoney when he was the City Manager for Cincinnati. I remember asking him what aspects of the job he did not enjoy. While I cannot remember exactly what he said, each thing he mentioned sounded like a lot of fun to me. I can honestly say, each moment from that day forward has been a blast!
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
The little things about the job are the most rewarding aspects of what I do. There is nothing better than taking a call from a resident and helping them in their moment of need.
What project(s) are you most proud of?
It is not necessarily any one project that I am most proud of, but rather the team of dedicated public servants that I am fortunate enough to work with every day that I am most proud of. The individuals here aspire to improve our community every day and they put up with (sometimes even implementing) my crazy ideas.
What are the greatest challenges facing City Managers in the state today?
The pull of applicants for critical public safety roles appears to be shrinking, making it harder to fill open positions. Finding ways to better position these roles to make them more attractive for the next generation of first responders is our challenge to ensure a strong workforce.
What is the role of a City Manager in upholding the public’s trust in local government?
We are charged with carrying out the policy decisions of the elected body. If we are not able to follow through on this charge and fall short of meeting our own standards, then the confidence in our local government wanes and public trust falls short. Whether it is fire, police, ems, public services, or another department, we are often called to your home to provide service. If we as city managers have done something to erode public trust, then will the average citizen trust our team when they respond to help them?
How are cities shaping the future of Ohio?
As much as we like to discuss national and state politics in the media, most of how a person interacts with government happens at the local level. As I think through my morning, I:
- Use water and sewer provided by a local government;
- Drive on roads maintained by a local government;
- Pass police officers helping kids cross the street on their way to school;
- See Fire and EMS getting cats out of trees (just kidding on this one!)
- Pass businesses that are properly located to not create issues for homes because of proper zoning
- See buildings that have been properly inspected and maintained
All of this happens just on my way into the office. Local government helps to shape all of our days in countless ways and our local governments are going to continue to shape the future of Ohio by continuing to lead the way on service delivery!